Possession of Counterfeit Goods
David M. Dudley, one of the most well-known criminal defense lawyers in the country defends individuals accused of a number of white collar crimes, including possession of substantial amounts of counterfeit goods. He is an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney who is not afraid to take any case to trial. His experience is vast, making him one of the most sought after criminal defense attorneys in the country.
Unlike many white-collar crimes lawyers in large corporate firms, Mr. Dudley has tried and won dozens of federal cases as a defense lawyer. If you or someone you love is arrested for possession of counterfeit goods, the penalties you face are severe. For the best representation in your case, contact Mr. Dudley today.
Possession of Counterfeit Goods
The word counterfeit to many people implies counterfeit money. But many items can be counterfeited, including:
- Computer products including equipment and computer software
- Pirated sound recordings or videotapes
- Fake Gucci handbags
- Rolex watches
- Designer clothes
Any product which purports to bear an original trademark or is a copyright-protected item but is actually a fake or imitation meant to deceive the buyer is considered counterfeit.
Laws against Counterfeiting
To knowingly own counterfeit products with the intent to sell or distribute them is against the law. Laws against counterfeiting are meant to protect the buyer as well as the maker of the original product. When the owner of fake products, company logos, or brands sells these products, he is cheating both the buyer of the product as well as the manufacturer who put the time and money into developing the item.
The crime is punishable by both federal and state laws, including fines and imprisonment. If you are accused of possession of or intent to sell counterfeit goods, you need the expertise of an attorney with years of know-how in defending persons accused of many types of white-collar crimes.
Possession of Counterfeit Goods: Selected Case Results
- S. v. H.S.: The defendant, who owned a computer business, was arrested with his alleged co-conspirators in possession of over $400,000 in cash at the culmination of a reverse sting operation during which undercover officers offered to sell them counterfeit Intel computer chips. Before trial, the court granted a defense motion to DISMISS the indictment, which included numerous serious felony charges.
- P. v. M.W.: While in the process of obtaining her United States citizenship, the defendant was arrested in possession of a substantial amount of counterfeit Microsoft software less than two years after Attorney Dudley had persuaded a court in another state to DISMISS a similar case against her. The district attorney in the new matter filed several serious felony counts against the defendant and subsequently refused to consider any settlement not involving a felony plea. Conducting his own research, Attorney Dudley was able to find an obscure statute, apparently not used by prosecutors in years, the violation of which represented a felony, but not a felony involving moral turpitude which would have prevented her successful naturalization. After the district attorney agreed to let the defendant plead no contest to that statute as a resolution of the case, the defendant received a sentence of PROBATION with no jail time (even though Microsoft attorneys had asked the judge to incarcerate her) and then obtained her American citizenship. After she completed her term of probation, the defense persuaded the judge to DISMISS the case.
- U.S. v. S.W.: Federal customs authorities arrested the defendant as the recipient of over $3,000,000 in counterfeit Marlboro cigarettes shipped in a container from China. After negotiating a plea to one count of a multi-count federal indictment, the defense persuaded the court to sentence the defendant below the applicable sentencing guideline range. Ultimately, Mr. Dudley’s client served only eleven months for the offense.
- U.S. v. G.A.: The defendant owned several tobacco stores. As a result of an undercover operation, law enforcement officers learned that he was avoiding payment of state taxes on cigarettes sold from his store by placing counterfeit tax stamps on the cigarette packages. A federal grand jury then indicted him for numerous contraband cigarette offenses through which he allegedly avoided paying over $1,500,000 in state taxes. The defense later reached a settlement of the case under which the defendant received a sentence of only 24 months. Although he was only a permanent resident, not a citizen, of the United States, the defendant was able to avoid deportation to his home country after his release from custody
- U.S. v. R.S.: Paying retail clerks and medical receptionists to scan the credit cards of customers, the defendant used the information obtained to manufacture counterfeit credit cards. When he was indicted federally, the government claimed that he had caused losses of over $1,000,000 to cardholders and financial institutions. After reaching a plea bargain that left open the issue of aggregate loss, Attorney Dudley convinced the court to apply a reasonable doubt standard to the government’s claim of how much money his conduct caused victims, even though the court was not legally required to use such a high standard. Applying that standard of proof, the court found that the government could only demonstrate losses of $420,000. The court then departed slightly downward from the resulting guideline range to impose a sentence of 46 months, 41 months lower than the government’s recommendation.